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British Man Imprisoned For Fighting With Separatists In Ukraine

Ben Stimson
Ben Stimson

A British man was sentenced to prison after a court in Britain ruled he illegally entered eastern Ukraine in 2015 to fight alongside Russia-backed separatists against the central government.

Benjamin Stimson was sentenced on July 14 to five years and four months in prison by the Manchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to a charge of assisting others in committing terrorism, officials said.

Various reports put his age at 41-43 years old.

Police say Stimson traveled to Moscow in August 2015 before illegally entering eastern Ukraine to fight alongside separatists against Ukrainian forces.

He was arrested in November 2015 upon returning to the Manchester Airport after earlier giving an interview to the BBC in which he said he was prepared to kill people if necessary in an act of war.

Police said they seized paramilitary clothing from him at the airport.

Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson said Stimson went to Ukraine “with the intention of joining militia groups fighting against the Ukrainian government, and the images of him holding a rifle and wearing military clothing are deeply concerning.”

Russia illegally annexed Ukraine's Crimea region and has been backing separatists in the country's east in a conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people since April 2014.

Based on reporting by ITV and the BBC

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